GCSE English


Course Entry Requirements

Everyone is welcome to this course. If you have not attained a 4 at school, this is your chance to improve your grade and succeed.

If you are interested in joining the College we will arrange a meeting with an experienced subject counsellor who will help you to choose courses that best suit your ambitions and achievements.

All entry requirement details are correct at the time of publication, September 2018, however, the College may need to make some changes by September 2019 in the light of student demand, staff availability and external factors beyond the College’s control.

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What will I study?

Paper 1:

20th century literature reading and creative prose writing (1 hour 45 minutes) 50%

Section A: You will read one fiction text and answer a range of comprehension questions; you will be expected to select relevant information and track the way a writer develops concepts and ideas in their writing. This unit helps you develop the important ability to understand information and analyse a writer’s use of literary devices to create effects.

Section B: You will complete a creative writing task from a choice of two questions; this section tests your ability to write clearly and imaginatively, using appropriate language and techniques.

Paper 2:

19th and 21st century non-fiction reading and transactional/persuasive writing (1 hour 45 minutes) 50%

Section A: You will read two texts that are linked in topic, but from completely different time periods. You will answer a range of comprehension questions, selecting relevant information and tracking the way a writer develops concepts and ideas in their writing. This unit helps you develop the important ability to understand information from a wide range of texts on issues from every-day life – health, culture, media, sports etc.

Section B: You will complete one written task; you will master the important literacy skills of writing a variety of texts, from persuasive leaflets to job application letters; all these skills will be useful in your future career.

What skills do I need?

  • Basic reading and writing skills
  • A willingness to work independently, as well as part of a team

We will help you with the rest!

Examining Board


Why should I study this course?

If you haven’t already achieved a 4 in English, this is your chance! GCSE English is compulsory for all students who have a grade 3. It is the basic qualification that employers look for; it means you will have access to a wide range of qualifications and you will find it easier to cope with higher level reading and writing tasks.

GCSE English will increase your chances of gaining better employment in your future career options and is essential for most professions.

How is the course assessed?

The speaking and listening assessment is internally marked and externally moderated. The two examinations are externally marked by the board.

What will this course prepare me for?

Careers in any area of life require strong reading and writing skills so GCSE English opens doors to the world!

Private Study

As an approximate guideline, GCSE subjects require 2 hours of independent study.

What materials will I need to provide?

You are expected to purchase writing materials, such as pens and paper.

How will I be taught?

You will have one (or maybe two) teachers who will guide you through the texts using a combination of individual study, group work, quizzes, essays, discussions and presentations. What you have to say is as valuable as what we do, you will be encouraged to grow and step out of your comfort zone as you develop as an academic student and as a young person.

GCSE English is for you if:

…you are keen to improve your basic literacy skills in order to succeed in any life career.

  • It’s an essential qualification, required for access to many career and university choices
  • You will take part in speaking and listening exercises that are part of everyday life
  • You will study a range of exciting texts